Real Name: Greyval Grimson

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Asgardian) god

Occupation: Warrior; standard bearer

Group Membership: Asgardian gods

Affiliations: Agnar (King of the Eagles), Asgardian gods, Balder, Gullinbursti, Morduk, Oddbrand Otter, Odin

Enemies: Frost Giants (including Snorth), Horskuld, Trolls (including Askella, Otny & Svin), wind giant, unidentified ogre, and the other enemies of Asgard

Known Relatives: Unidentified grandfather and ancestors, Sygnet (widow), Grim Magnus (father), unidentified son, Horskuld (cousin)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Presumably Valhalla;
    formerly Hrafnfell (the Raven's Roost), outside the city of Asgard

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (1985)





Powers/Abilities: Like all Asgardians, Greyval Grimson was extremely long-lived, though not immortal. He had superhuman strength (Class 50) and durability. He was a noble and skilled warrior, experienced with a sword. He carried the Raven Banner and briefly rode atop Gullinbursti




(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - The ancestors of Greyval Grimson accepted the tradition of carrying the Raven Banner in battle, with each dying in turn to assure Asgard's victory and then passing on the Banner to his son.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Greyval visited the city of Asgard as a small boy atop the shoulders of his father, Grim Magnus.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Desiring the honor of a brave warrior's death, Grim Magnus made Greyval promise not to mourn him. Greyval loved his father but never dared speak such things. Greyval also could not understand how one could choose grey melancholy death over life eternal in Asgard's green fields.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Unarmed, Greyval -- by his own account (possibly fictitious or embellished) -- leapt atop a stag's bag and wrestled him to the ground by the antlers.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Greyval fell in love with and became engaged to the Valkyrie Sygnet, and they pledged that their wedding vows would celebrate Grim Magnus' final battle.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - Grim Magnus carried of the Raven Banner, fought valiantly against the enemies of Asgard, and exhorted his comrades to do the same.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Greyval strode off to battle, as was his duty, but then three Trolls rushed up, slid his sword out of its sheathe, and ran off laughing. He chased after them, but soon found himself in their Troll kingdom beneath dark Gundershelm, where they got him intoxicated with their honeyed wine. Assured by them that another god would retrieve the Banner should Grim Magnus fall, and that another family would thus take over the role of dying for Asgard, freeing him from that unwanted destiny, Greyval sang and danced with the Trolls.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner - BTS) - The Storm Giant Snorth mortally wounded Grim Magnus who noted that even as he fell that his war-fellows trumpeted Asgard's victory as they drove back their foes. Dying, Magnus looked for his son, Greyval Grimson, so that he could pass the Banner to him. Magnus died disappointed, as Greyval was nowhere to be seen, and a group of Trolls claimed the Banner from Magnus' dead hands and carried it off to their subterranean caverns.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - When the Troll queen Askella arrived with news of the Gods' victory, Greyval realized this had meant that his father had perished, recalling his promise not to mourn him. Wishing to prove that he wasn't a coward, Greyval engaged in mock combat with Svin, one of the Trolls. The Trolls encouraged Greyval to renounce the daylight above and live with them, but he recalled his responsibilities of taking over his father's farm and to his fiancÚ, Sygnet. He departed the realm of the Trolls; feeling that Greyval was weak and would return to kneel as their vassal in the future, they allowed him to depart unmolested.

    Returning to his father's homestead, Hrafnfell, Greyval and Sygnet were married the next day. At the celebratory feast, he told the others of how many giants he had slain in battle, though it was quickly recognized that his numbers were inconsistent with what he had told the night before and that morning. Greyval claimed that he had lost count in the heat of battle and that he had become so berserk that he had even left the Raven Banner on the field. Sygnet promised everyone present that if they had not been sworn to marry that very night that Greyval would be seeking the Banner in the city of Asgard. In a celebratory horsefight, Greyval's steed fell before his cousin Horskuld's. The other Valkyrior then arrived, announcing that the Raven Banner was lost and believed to have been stolen by the Trolls for the Giants. Several of those present questioned Greyval's valor, but Sygnet told them all if the Banner was not found by morning that Greyval would beg Odin's leave to seek it out. That night, after consummating their marriage, Greyval told Sygnet that if the Banner was gone that he need never die and they could live forever together, but Sygnet convinced him that he must fulfill his valorous fate.

    The next day Sygnet accompanied Greyval to Asgard, and outside the palace they met Horskuld who had gained Odin's leave to recover the Banner and redeem the shame Greyval had brought on their family. Greyval was prepared to give up his quest, but Sygnet pushed him to beg Odin, and then Balder arrived and agreed to gain Greyval an audience with Odin. Greyval confessed his failings to Balder who noted that the Trolls were master of deceit and praised Greyval for leaving their enticements behind. Odin initially denied Greyval his request, but Balder begged Odin to allow him to escort Greyval, and Odin consented. Morduk informed Greyval that the sages had agreed that before seeking the Banner he must visit his father's shade in Valhalla, and Grim Magnus would guide him further. Morduk gave him a map to aid his quest and further told him that Horskuld had refused the sage's counsel and that he would ride around in circles before he found a clue.

    Agnar, King of the Eagles, carried Greyval and Balder on the first part of their journey, depositing them on an aerie overlooking the enchanted chasm that separated Asgard from the lands of the dead. Balder encouraged Greyval as the descended into the Gorge of Perilous Mists via a rope of mountain shrubs covered in thorns, catching him the one time he fell. As they neared the bridge, they were confronted by an ogre, who nearly knocked Balder off an ice bridge. Greyval sliced the back of the ogre's calf with his sword then pulled Balder back up on the bridge, and the two rushed away. They next encountered and freed Oddbrand Otter, a prisoner of the ogre, who joined them on their mission, though he waited outside the gates of Valhalla.

        Protected by a spell of enchantment from Odin, Greyval and Balder visited Valhalla, where Grim Magnus who told Greyval he had observed his actions. Greyval asked for his father's council and forgiveness and promised in return to win fame's undying glory. Grim Magnus instructed Greyval to visit the realm of Hel, where he would see the wretched fate of hollow lives misspent in cowardice and mean spirit, after which he should seek out the Norns to learn how to regain the Raven Banner. Grim Magnus further told Greyval he must travel to Hel alone. As Greyval left, Grim Magnus asked that Odin speed the day that Greyval sat at his right hand in Eternity's lofty mead-hall. Greyval indeed braved Hel alone, passing its many horrors, culminating with Hela herself showing him the rotting Hel-thing he would become if his courage failed him; after seeing this he vowed that Hela would never own his soul.

    Greyval, Balder, & Oddbrand then traveled to the Sea of Marmora, and they obtained passage on a boat owned by a widow and her son. En route the widow tried to seduce Greyval before revealing herself to be Askella. Her son, Svin, then rushed Greyval and tried to force him to give up his quest, but Greyval ran him through with his sword. Askella vengefully released a wind giant to slay her foes before departing, and Greyval, Balder, & Oddbrand were left afloat on the ship's broken mast, until Oddbrand used a bottle from his magic bag to capture the wind giant; after which they swam the short distance to the Marmora's far shore. Meanwhile, a group of Trolls drugged and captured Sygnet, and Horskuld was seduced by the Trolls and became their thrall.

    Odin's ravens, Huginn & Muninn, then appeared to Balder, telling him that battle with the giants was about to break anew and that he was to return to council of war. Greyval and Oddbrand continued on to the roots of Yggdrasil, which they followed to the sacred Well of Wyrd, the spring of destiny and the home of the Norns. The Norns told Greyval he had three paths he could follow: (1) to his home, where he would enjoy life eternal and everlasting shame; (2) to the Raven Banner, a rash and rueful road as his newly forged courage was not yet tested; (3) to his bride, Sygnet, who was a prisoner in the land of the rock trolls. Greyval chose the path to Sygnet, which the Norns noted to be the longest way, but he shortest in the end: a hero's destiny. The Norns directed him along the path and told him Odin had granted him the magic boar Gullinbursti to speed his travel. Gullinbursti flew Greyval and Oddbrand to the Rock Trolls realm where they were confronted by Snorth, the same Storm Giant that had slain his father as well as a number of Rock Trolls who hurled boulders at them. Carefully navigating, Greyval decapitated Snorth, after which the Trolls fled, and he then entered the cavern. He was seemingly reunited with Sygnet, but Oddbrand's torch revealed her shadow to be that of Askella whom Greyval forced to show him where Sygnet was held. After Greyval freed Sygnet and imprisoned Askella in her place, he and Sygnet expressed their undying love, and he sped off atop Gullinbursti to the Abyss of Shadows, in which Sygnet informed him that the Banner was held. Upon Greyval's arrival, Gullinbursti's radiance drove off the trolls, and Greyval encountered Horskuld, now a Troll prince, and battled him for the Banner. Horskuld trapped Greyval's sword beneath his, but Greyval stabbed him in the neck with his dagger, sending him plunging into he bottomless abyss.

    Greyval retrieved the Banner and sped atop Gullinbursti to the battlefield for the next struggle between the Asgardians and their enemies. Greyval unfurled the Raven Banner, inspiring the gods to battle. Again the gods won, but Greyval perished in the conflict as was his destiny. Sygnet bore him away to Valhalla.

    Sygnet entrusted Balder with the Raven Banner until the day her son, conceived on her recent wedding night with Greyval, would be old enough to hold it.

Comments: Created by Alan Zenetz, Charles Vess, and Ralph Macchio.

    I'm pretty certain Gullin and Gullinbursti are separate characters, both seen in this story, and I will be splitting the profile linked above in the next month or so.

Profile by Snood.

No KNOWN connections to:

images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner cover
        p61, panel 1 - face

Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner (1985) - Alan Zenetz (writer), Charles Vess (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Last updated: 03/23/14

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